Immigration Reform - The President Needs to Act

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Post November elections, President Obama announced that he will do an Executive Order on Immigration before end of 2014. Brenman Immigration Law Firm and the leadership of American Immigration Law Firm believes that more than decade-long delay in passing comprehensive immigration reform into law has had a significant and damaging toll on families, businesses, communities and the United States economy. With the House of Representatives showing no will to pass a bill, some broad-based action on immigration is long overdue.

As an example of long range consequences of immigration reform, today we note the life-altering impact that our current immigration policies have on millions of individuals. Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, pupularly known as DACA, has had a profound impact on individuals who came to the United States as minors and have grown up here. It has allowed them to receive work authorization, in most states a driver’s license, and in some state’s even in-state tuition for public colleges and universities. Therefore, it has had a positive effect on the morale of these individuals and an economic benefit in that they are now able to legally work with a social security number and pay their fair share of taxes.

Deferred action should now be expanded to include many more individuals including:

  • Parents of U.S. citizens;

  • Parents of DACA-eligible individuals; and

  • All individuals who have resided in the United States for three years or more.

All such individuals must be permitted to file for work authorization and advanced parole. Work authorization will churn a new engine of growth for the American industry and advance parole is crucial on humanitarian grounds. As attorneys, we find it extremely hard to tell our clients that they should not visit a seriously ill fmaily member abroad because they may not be able to enter back into the country or may face a bar from entering into the United States.

This is only one area where the President must act for economic and for humanitarian reasons. There are many more, including issuing work authorization cards for families of applicants who have an approved I-140, and expanding the reach of victims of crime visa, that we hope the President will enact through an Executive Order. We will cover these reform steps in our upcoming blogs. These actions are crucial on humanitarian grounds, and will foster a new engine of growth for the U.S. economy.

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